Written by Shef
Published 20th August 20
Will take 6mn to read
Backpacking Tasmania is better with some tested travel tips… After my road trips on Tasmania’ East Coast and wild West territories, I’ve got in my pocket travel tips for the solo travelers who want to tackle Tasman devil’s island. What I have learnt the hard way during my travels in Tassie – 15 tested travel tips for travelling the Apple Isle with more laughter and love!
Which tips to backpacking Tasmania will I need ?
- Travel tips for transportation
- Where to stay while backpacking Tasmania
- Backpacking Tasmania with a travel mate
- Extra travel tips – weather, safety, Tasman lifestyle
How much for a 7 days trip in Tasmania ?
From 350 $
How to move around while backpacking Tasmania –
Travel tips on transportation
1. Researching ferry dates/prices/options
If you are taking your own vehicle, ideally book the ferry 1 month in advance (online changes are cheap or free). The same is true for renting a car or a campervan. In summer the little island and the few rental companies get quite busy. In fact, there is not much concurrence in Tasmania. So, prices rise quickly in high season.
Travel tips on where to look at ferry prices
- Directferries.com.au: Price comparator ferries Melbourne – Devonport
- Spiritoftasmania.com.au: Most advertised ferry company
2. Backpacking Tasmania by car - Tips on buying
Buying a car is totally worth it. Buy a cheap (500-800aud) car and travel and camp hassle free and sell back same or for more cash! Look at Facebook, Couch surfing groups and Hostels to find travel mates and camping gear. With travel mates, you can split fuel and camping costs. Just choose wisely your companions and it’ll be a win-win… More on backpacking Tasmania with travel partners below! To find a car, go also to Facebook groups for backpackers, on Gumtree (but be very careful. So many scams) or at hostels where other travelers often sell their own car.
Where to find a car – hints
- On Facebook: tassie buy and sell, Tasmania network backpackers. Basically, type in the search bar the name of the city you are or want to start your backpacking trip in Tasmania. Add the words “backpackers’, “buy and sell”, “cars”…
- On Gumtree
3. Backpacking Tasmania by car, part II : rentals
Buying is too much hassle for you? There is another solution! Renting a car for backpacking Tasmania is easy and well adapted if you are on a short term travel in Tasmania. Compare prices on Internet, take an insurance within your rental booking and you’ll be all set for your Tasmania’s backpacking trip.
Where to rent a car?
- Directly at car rental companies in Hobart, Launceston or Devonport. They are the main pick up and drop off locations on the island.
- Online, through rental companies : Bargain car rentals, Avis, Europcar, Enterprise…
- Through travel agencies, dedicated to backpacking and budget traveling. They often have deals with local rental companies. Plus, the travel agency takes care of finding the best deals according to your needs and budget – Sta Travel
- Online price comparators to compare deals before renting a car in Tasmania: Vroomvroomvroom, Kayak, Rentalcars
4. Renting a campervan – or how to camp more comfortably while backpacking Tasmania
Some of us are fans of sleeping in the tent on a road trip – adventurous and back to simple way of life. Others, especially during fresh nights in Tasmania, will prefer spending a bit more money and sleep inside the car. If you reconnize yourself in the second option, you will need a SUV or a camper van. Thus, you will have space to put a mattress at the back. Prices start around 45$ a day.
Travel tips – Useful links to rent a camper van
- Wicked Campers: dedicated to people backpacking Tasmania, with travel tips. Bit pricy.
Run searches through price comparators to find cheaper campervans:
- Campervan Finder
- Motorhome republic
5. Fuel prices - travel tips to feed up your vehicle
You’ll pay around 1.50$ for Unloaded. It’s basically comparable to Australia’s mainland fuel rates. But on the Apple island, expect to spend quite a lot on fuel. Plenty of roads are gravel roads, in the forest or national parks. Little travel tip before starting your backpacking trip in Tasmania: check the car’s consummation before hiring!
Hot travel tip for backpacking Tasmania and saving money on fuel: the app petrolspy.com.au! Awesome to know where petrol stations are located in Tasmania – and their prices.
Accommodation and travel tips – Where to sleep in Tasmania
6. Where to stay while backpacking Tasmania
My travel tip when backpacking Tasmania is to use free camp spots as much as possible. First, they are amazing places to find in pure nature. Second, it’s quite difficult to find cheap accommodation in Tasmania. Because there are a lot of national parks and little towns in Tassie. If you travel on your own, please be careful. Just a common sense advice.
Hobart, Launceston, Queenstown… can be your base (around 30$ a night at hostels). From there, prefer free camping. Note that some camp spots might require a 5$ AUD fee to use facilities. Another idea could be to check on Airbnb for short term rentals. Couch surfing is of course an alternative. Best is to keep this option if you travel at least with another person, in my opinion.
The magical apps for campers
- wikicamps Australia
7. Hostels for backpackers
In bigger towns like Hobart and Devonport, count around 30$ a night in dormitories. Hostels for backpackers in Tasmania are quite expensive and fully booked in summer.
In Hobart go to the Narrara backpackers – cheap, tidy and very good vibes. Special mention to the owner Mo, a truly nice person.
Travel tips on websites for hostels in Tasmania
Booking.com – for me, the trust worthiest accommodation platform. They also have cheap places, made for solo travelers and people backpacking Tasmania. Often, with cancellation free possibilities.
Agoda.com.au – Less known, I booked quite often on this app. Frequent discounts.
Local hostels websites – type on google search the name of the place with “backpacker”, “hostel”
Curiosity makes the awesome traveler you are.
Check out other travel and photo blog posts!
Check out other travel and photo blog posts!
Backpacking Tasmania with travel mates: how to hit the road with strangers
8. Choose your travel companion wisely
Go out for a drink/walk/chat before hitting the road; no matter how you meet spend time to get to know each other and your preferences for the itinerary. Travelling with a nut case is the last thing you want on your Tassie adventure, right? (for the sake of some petrol money).
9. Organize your road trip with a travel mate
Things like splitting bill at the end of the travel trip can become quickly a nightmare. While I was backpacking Tasmania, each time with different travel companions, I discovered some useful apps. The Splitwise app for instance let you register the spending and divide them, with personalized features.
Travel tips on this and that: weather, safety and Tasman lifestyle while backpacking Tasmania
10. Driving tips for you on Tasman roads
Please, do drive carefully. Watch out for speedy/stopy, snap-shot and jump-in ‘tourists’ who might not have any idea about LH drive and narrow roads! Locals are also extremely dangerous drivers with zero tolerance and Lewis Hamilton like over-takers! Kangaroos, like anywhere in Australia, are also fearless jumpers on the roads. I did hit some of them while backpacking Tasmania… poor kangoos and poor me, it was scary!
11. Backpacking Tasmania as solo traveler ?
Tassie is small hence you can afford travelling alone. Just do allow enough time if you want to walk back with some lifetime memories and rested mind and body. Good news is also that other like-minded solo travelers are to be found while backpacking Tasmania. Just by staying a few nights at a hostel in Hobart. Devonport or Launceston, you’ll find people looking for travel mates to hit the road. Since the lifestyle is much quieter than on the mainland, travelers are also more relax. If you’re looking for backpcker jobs, it’s also good opportunity to go to farms with others and start nice travel friendships. So, don’t be afraid of going solo to Apple isle!
12. Unpredictable weather
Tasmania is cooler than Australia’s mainland, that’s a fact. For all who prefer mild climat to the hot temperatures of Australian northern territories or the tropical northern East Coast, you’ll be like a fish in water, in Tassie – at ease! Though, take into account the seasons when planning your trip to backpacking Tasmania. Some places are not that cool in plain Tasman winter! So, target a good period for backpacking Tasmania: December still chilly and February hot; best is January!
Weather in Tasmania – calendar
Discover Tasmania – Temperatures per month for each town + travel tips on where to staym what to do while backpacking Tasmania
13. Safety – travel tips to hiking
Backpacking Tasmania doesn’t really go without hiking! Either nice long walks around lakes, mountains and sea shore… or crazier hikes to mounts’ summits and cliffs – you’ll find hikes adapted for your liking. But remember: stay safe when hiking! Choose only appropriate hikes for your own level of proficiency, take advice from locals, do not go onto trails if too dangerous. Weather and Nature in Tasmania can be capricious. And it’s never worth to put your own safety at risk.
14. Lifestyle on Tasmania's island
When backpacking Tasmania, you’ll notice how Life is much slower than on Australia’s mainland. The cities are of course way smaller and the whole island is to be appreciated for its awesome countryside. To the party animals among you: it’s not while backpacking Tasmania that you’ll find crazy fiestas. At the image of Australia’s West Coast and the vibes in a city like Perth, solo travelers and backpackers are more authentic and simpler than on Australia’s East Coast. That’s my personal experience. People are here to enjoy the Nature. The backpacking community is also small, making it easier to find a backpacker job during summer.
Travel tips – Farm jobs and other stuff about living in Tasmania
Fruit picking jobs – Calendar with months and spots according to harvest time in each Australian region
15. Enjoy your trip, take it easy!
One of the most clichés travel tips, but still the truest ? Enjoy Tasmania fully, it’s a gem of a place to live, work and travel. Do your own thing, at your own pace wherever you fancy; choose sunsets and sunrises! Backpacking Tasmania is, in my eyes, different from traveling Australia’s mainland. More authentic, more Nature… Life as we should live it more often, don’t you think?
I am Shef, Bulgarian soul of solo traveler. Since 2 years on the road, I’ve spent time in Russia, Mongolia, Turkey, Australia, New Zealand… to name a few! I share my used and tested tips for other solo travelers and backpackers. Enjoy seeing the World!